Summer in the South is an almost tropical experience.  Everything grows and grows and grows.  I used to be completely lost in the colors of the flowers, but now I find myself becoming intrigued by the patterns of the foliage. This painting experiments with both.

Hollyhocks - acrylic painting 12" x 12" by Serena Fenton
Hollyhocks – acrylic painting 12″ x 12″


Continuing experiments with acrylic paints.  I have been using matte medium, since I don’t like the sheen and plastic-feel of acrylics.  I could use Acrylic gouache, but I am not wild about the lack of intensity of the colors in most acrylic gouache – and there is the cost.  Why is acrylic gouache so darned expensive???

Threesome - acrylic painting 18" x 24" by Serena Fenton
Threesome – acrylic painting 18″ x 24″

I Spy

Cats tend to assume that they are invisible, but if you look hard, you can still find them.  This painting is in acrylics.  I am intending to do some larger works on canvas and gouache just won’t work for that, so I am staring to learn to use acrylics.  Transparency is the biggest issue.  Gouache gives lush rich color.  Acrylics seem to take many many coats (and I am reportedly using the ‘good stuff’ – Golden artist quality).  There’s a learning curve, definitely.

I Spy - acrylic painting 8"x10" by Serena Fenton
I Spy – acrylic painting 8″x10″

Charleston Groundcover

In the spring, it seems that everything in Charleston, South Carolina is in bloom.  The magnolia and jasmine make the air sultry sweet.  Color is bursting our everywhere.  This painting was inspired by a tiny patch of garden that was past its prime – there’s a tulip stem, but no flower.  Yet it was a splash of color.

Groundcover - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Groundcover – gouache painting by Serena Fenton

Floral Arrangement

This was done a couple weeks ago and was one of my first experiments in using gouache on a toned drawing paper instead of white watercolor paper.  The smoothness of the page is great for gouache.  Since this was just after Mother’s Day (and I have a sweet family), a fanciful bouquet was the perfect painting inspiration.

The Arrangement - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
The Arrangement – gouache painting by Serena Fenton


Dandelions can be weeds or gorgeous, amazing flowers.  Your viewpoint depends mostly on how your lawn.  My lawn is so shady that even dandelions don’t stand a chance.  I’ve grown over the years to have a deep affection for them.

Gouache painting: 8″ x 8″

Dandelions - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Dandelions – gouache painting

Kingfisher in the Rain

Well, it’s not actually raining in the painting, but it has been raining here for 5 days straight, which is odd since I am neither in Seattle nor London.  The good news is that I have gotten a lot of painting done while being stuck inside.  This is the first of a series of 8″ x 8″ paintings in gouache.

Kingfisher - gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Kingfisher – gouache painting

Tropical Fantasy

Life just gets busy.  I have been working on a new series of paintings this past month.  All of them are watercolor birds with gouache patterned backgrounds.

Tropical Fantasy - watercolor and gouache painting by Serena Fenton
Tropical Fantasy – watercolor and gouache painting

Gouache is not the easiest medium to take up.  Trying to blend gouache tends to give chalky, stiff messes.  But I am finding that I am enjoying creating bold patterened backgrounds, which are in contrast to the more realistic bid paintings.  This bird is a bit of a fantasy.  I started out with a flicker and then just went astray with hte colored feathers.